Spirited Away Review

Evan Mackey, Feature Writer/Opinion

Spirited Away is honestly competing with Alice In Wonderland. I watched it recently, and I was amazed by everything Spirited Away had to offer. I’ve heard and seen a little of the movie, but I was never interested in it until eventually, I decided to look into it, not expecting it to be as unique as I had thought.  Spirited Away is very similar to Alice In Wonderland and the Neverending Story, too, where it seems like it’s almost combined, it’s simply amazing. Spirited Away is a Japanese anime movie that came out in 2001 and has won many well-deserving awards. The film is one h and 45min long, close to average but still not too long or short, which I appreciate.

Chihiro is the main character. She’s a little girl preceding to move into her new house with her Mom and Dad. They start taking a shortcut then lead themselves into a tunnel in the middle of the woods. Chihiro’s parents seem led into adventuring through the tunnel. When they go through it, they find themselves into what seems to appear to be an abandoned Chinatown, which is mostly retreated for some strange reason. Chihiro’s scared and wants to go back into the car. Her parents start eating the plates and buffets of food at the restaurant and can’t stop eating. Chihiro wanders around, not knowing what’s happening to her parents, and bumps into Haku, who is a boy her age. He yells at her, asking what she is doing, and tells her to run before the lanterns turn on.

She rushes throughout Chinatown when suddenly she starts seeing ghost-like bodies appear and starts to tear apart the office. She instead gets a job at the bathhouse, and everyone is amazed by her. The witch takes her anime away from her, and she will slowly start losing the memory of her past life and her real name. Haku reminds her of her real name and tells her more about her plan, and hands her a piece of paper she had before she came to this place with her name so she’ll never forget it.

Freaking out running for her parents. She eventually finds them, but they turn into pigs from the addicted food when she turns the corner. She screams and runs further until Haku saves her. Chihiro panics while Haku reassures her Haku has a plan to help keep her.  Chinatown is surrounded by alien-like creatures that live talking animals like a stage beyond Alice In Wonderland. Haku has a plan to rescue her and her parents. They have to cross a bridge without breathing, and the goal is to get her a job at this Chinatown. She’s one of the only human-like creatures there, and when crossing the bridge, we first see no-face, one of the weirdest characters in the movie and one of the most famous.

Chihiro begs to get a job at the boiler room, a spider/older man who operates the forge. He gets to see the main witch of Chinatown, which is somewhat evil. She’s the master or leader of this beautiful world, and Chihiro begs her so she can get a job in the boiler room. The witch has a 300-pound baby that has never left its room and almost tears apart her entire office from crying, so the witch agrees and gets her a job just so the baby will stop

Chihiro gets given many bath tokens by no-face and starts to form a friendship with the mask-wearing ghost. Chihiro has to provide a bath to a stink spirit, a walking sewage sludge. The stink spirit stinks the whole bathhouse, but Chihiro succeeds, and nature awards her with a river spirit health ball that later comes in great use. The viewer discovers that Haku is a water dragon, which is her protector. Haku goes missing, and no-face starts luring people with gold and starts eating them and their food. Haku almost dies from hundreds of paper birds. Haku is severely bleeding and nearly dies, so he flies to the witch’s office. We find out that the witch has a step-sister that is very similar. She ordered Haku to die and was controlling it the entire time. Haku saves Chichori again and flies to the boiler room. Chihiro feeds her the thing given to her by the water spirit, shortly after transforming back into his body. She also does the same and saves no-face by feeding it the same thing after steaming several people in the bathhouse.

Chihiro was on a train with no-face to talk to the witch’s step-sister to help her parents. She has one final test before returning to the real world; she chooses which pigs are her mother and father. She answers this question by stating that her mother and father aren’t in the group full of pigs because this is a trick question. She answers it right and gets to return home after wishing everyone goodbye. She figures out Haku has been her guardian since she was born and saved her from drowning when she was very young. Chori reveals Haku his real name, and the curse is broken. They fly back, and the witch sends Her back with her mother and father.

Chihiro wakes up seeing her mother and father walking back away from the tunnel they first arrived. Both her parents are waiting for her, and they walk towards the car they came in. The car has aged, and vines have grown, and the tunnel that everything started at has changed as well. She looks back and reminisces about her adventure, all her memories, all the people she met, and the life experience she gained from it. She walked in the sacred and came back out full of wisdom and courage.

I enjoyed this movie, and I see why this movie won many awards, and the soundtrack is fantastic and pretty. The film left a lot of questions and was very mysterious, which I love. I caught many things I missed watching the movie for the second time, and I’m glad I watched it again.  I enjoyed the film, and I feel like this gives Alice In Wonderland and The Never-Ending Story a run for its money.